Top 10 Ways To Get Web Design Leads
So, you built websites for people. That’s great and you have a very valuable talent. Every business needs a website. The value of something that is running 24/7 and can provide a passive way to inform customers can’t be overstated. Many individuals also need or at least want personal or professional website. Most people, however can’t develop a good website. That’s where you come in.
So how do you find the clients that need your skills? Most web developers recognize the need for their skills but don’t know how to connect that “demand” with their “supply”. In economics class, supply and demand always mash up neatly, but out here in the real world it’s much more of a slog.
Many of us on the Lead Cheetah staff are web-developers and other industry experts. Essentially every one on our staff is or was a self-driven entrepreneur selling their various skills to companies and individuals who needed them. We know the pain of finding and pitching clients. In fact, that’s why we built Lead Cheetah. We want to help entrepreneurs, like ourselves find clients.
As we started building our service, we dug through the rest of the web and indeed the world-at-large to find the best lead generation sources. Our aim is simple: we want to build the best lead generation network possible. In order to do that, we’ve been examining the best lead machines out there. Yes, we’re building something unique, new, and original, but we’re also learning from the best tools already on the web. We take no issue with standing on the shoulders of giants, because that’ll help us reach the greatest heights.
We’re going to share what we found, and also where we plan on taking Lead Cheetah.
1. Personal Connections & Network
Referrals will always be the number one way to develop business. You get a chance to work with people you know, and personal references are the highest quality references. If someone has worked with you before or seen your work.
There’s a problem with personal connections, however. Most of us don’t have enough potential business in our own personal network to sustain a company or freelance career. Yes, personal connections can open doors and provide income, especially early on, but if you want to be successful, you’ll have to grow outside of your own network. But that doesn’t mean you should try this, alot of people just get discouraged. “how many people do I even know” – don’t be that guy (or girl)
LinkedIn can be seen as an extension of your personal network. Your personal LinkedIn community will be made up primarily of people you know or that people in your own network know. That might mean coworkers, or people you’ve met at conferences or happy hours, former classmates, etc. LinkedIn is a great website because everyone on the website is in “business mode.” They are looking to make sales, or to improve their professional standing, or perhaps to find skilled and talented contractors, consultants, and workers.
The personal nature of LinkedIn makes it a great tool for securing sales. There are some downsides, however. Like your personal connections and network, your LinkedIn presence is largely limited to people you know and are connected to. Expanding your network and finding completely new and unknown clients is often difficult. LinkedIn helps you connect with people you’re linked with, but isn’t as good for meeting people outside of your network.
3. Lead Cheetah
We plan on updating this list next year, and we’re aiming for our own service to be #1. That’s a high bar to set, but we’re driven and committed to building the best lead generation tool we can. Our team is driven by our own personal experiences as entrepreneurs, growth hackers, and digital marketing experts. We’ve been in your shoes, we’ve scoured our personal networks, and the other websites on this list looking for business opportunities.
And you know what we realized? Most of the websites out there simply don’t cut it. Some websites offer decent quality leads, but they want to charge a fortune for them. Other websites are free or at least cheap, but the leads aren’t all that great. With Lead Cheetah our goal is two fold: we want to help you find great leads for your business, and we don’t want to break your bank.
Upwork is a great website because the leads are reasonably well qualified. Most, although not all people posting on the website are genuinely looking for services and to hire contractors to accomplish some task or another. The website provides built-in payment methods, escrow services, and other value added features.
However, these features come at a steep cost. First, Upwork takes up to 20% of the fees from contractors. That’s right, twenty percent. So while you’re out grinding day and night to build a website or launch a digital marketing campaign or whatever else, Upwork is going to demand a 20% fee without doing all that much. On top of that 20% fee, you also have to pay monthly membership fees.
Further, the number of projects you can bid on is limited. You are given “connects” or points with which you can bid on projects. Your plan gives you 70 connects, most bids cost two Connects. If you go over your limit, you have to buy more connects at a buck a pop. Bidding can get expensive, and the market is crowded. 50 bids for a single project is common.
Craigslist is one of the most useful websites around. You can find just about anything on Craiglist, including jobs, goods for sales, cars, you name it. There are also a decent number of leads on Craigslist with companies posting up opportunities. However, the quality of these opportunities can be mixed.
Sometimes, you’ll find a great opportunity, but often postings are disingenuous. Even those potential clients genuinely searching for work often have very limited budgets, and occasionally, unrealistic demands, like wanting a $10,000 dollars websites for $300 bucks. Further, there are certain security issues as well. Scam artists and other unscrupulous parties are common on Craigslist.
6. Search Engine Ads
Search engine ads offer a great way to drum up business. When people want to find a product or service, they often head to their favorite search engine and type in some relevant keywords. Then, the search engine provides them with pages of results. You can buy ad space at the top of the search results (or elsewhere) so customers will see your web design ads.
Search Engine Marketing, however, is a skill and art in its own right. Further, running ads can be expensive, and if you don’t convert, you could waste your budget. When it comes to ad, we recommend that web designers and other companies set aside a budget. We also recommend, however, that you diversify your methods.
7. Your Own Website
Speaking of search engines and web design leads, you should definitely have your own website. First, it’ll be proof of your talents. Second, with the right search engine optimization, you’ll draw in organic leads. Generally speaking, organic leads are higher in quality than your typical paid leads.
However, SEO takes A LOT of effort. This is especially true for competitive terms like “web designer” or “website company”. A lot of other websites are already established, and filled with the high-quality, compelling content that search engines love. Yes, you should run SEO campaigns and produce great content, but it can take years to move up high enough in search engine rankings.
8. Job Boards
This is a bit of an unconventional method, but several of our staff members found success by hunting down job postings and then pitching the people who put up the posting. It goes like this: you search for a “web designer” job position. Then, you email the company who put up the posting and let them know that while you’re not looking for job, you’d be happy to provide professional services.
This can generate results, but it’s hit or miss. Many companies you contact may end up rebuffing you, but you can definitely uncover leads this way. However, this method can be very time consuming, and the results are often mixed.
Reddit offers a lot of opportunities for web designers and freelancers. First, there are subreddits that focus on freelancing, “for hire”, and web development. Hit these subreddits up and see if there are any interesting opportunities. This can be time consuming and you might have to slog through a lot of irrelevant stuff to find good leads, but it can be effective.
You can also buy ads on Reddit, which are generally quite cheap. Usually, ads on Reddit will be much cheaper than comparative search engine ads. Meanwhile, with the right targeting and by selecting the right subreddits, you can engage highly relevant audiences.
Yelp is a great way to find local small businesses. These days, Yelp is basically the “Yellow Pages” for companies, and especially small brick and mortar establishments, such as restaurants. You can dig through Yelp and find small businesses. Then, you can contact them.
Our staff members have had A LOT of success using this method, but it comes with some drawbacks. First, you have to cold call. Second, it can take a lot of time to find and contact companies. Third, Yelp listings are often out of date. Still, Yelp is a great resource that you shouldn’t overlook.